The current Worth County Courthouse was completed in 1893, across the street from the modest two-story brick courthouse that was constructed 13 years earlier and still open as a museum today. The courthouse was remodeled and expanded to the east in 1938 with funds as part of the Works Progress Administration, and in 1990, a one-story addition containing a new jail, courtroom and offices was attached to the northwest portion of the facility. The historic courthouse was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1981.
In the mid-1930s, Iowa natives Dr. W.D. and Ida Kinney purchased over 4,000 acres of land in Worth and Cerro Gordo counties near the community of Hanlontown. It was one of several land purchases made by the Kinney family after oil was discovered on their retirement property in Texas. After spending nearly 20 years in northern Iowa, Dr. Kinney passed away in February 1957; Mrs. Kinney died the following year.
Dr. and Mrs. Kinney were avid readers and had amassed a collection of over 5,000 books in a 900-square-foot space in their Mason City home. Following their death, the collection and accompanying mahogany shelving were to be donated to the community of Hanlontown, with the condition that the town provided permanent space for housing the books and established a public library.
Two lots were purchased on Main Street, and a former rural school building was relocated to Hanlontown from the Forest City area. A basement was added to the building and by the fall of 1959, the library was open to the public. The former school served as the community library until 1978, when the library relocated to the newly-constructed community center.
The rural school building was relocated to the Kinney Pioneer Museum.
Dating to 1892, the Old Creamery Museum in Northwood is one of nine sites owned and operated by the Worth County Historical Society. The society purchased the building in 1981, about thirty years after operation ceased at the creamery. The museum includes a number of antiques, including tools, creamery equipment, and a working print shop. It’s open Sunday afternoons from Memorial Day to Labor Day or by appointment by calling (641) 324-1180.
Approximately 200 residents were in attendance for the dedication of the new Post Office building in the Worth County community of Manly in October 1961. The dedication service included speeches from U.S. Congressman H. R. Gross and Manly Mayor M. H. Barker along with a performance from the community high school band. Following the dedication, the Manly Community Association sponsored a free pancake dinner for all present at the Manly City Hall. Postal service was first established in Manly in 1877.
In 2003, the Total United Northwood Effort (TUNE) community betterment group spent $1 to acquire the two story J. B. Thompson building in downtown Northwood, which was originally constructed for use as a general store in 1891. Over the next six years, nearly $500,000 was spent on renovation and restoration of the historic building, which included costs to replace the roof, rebuild floors, and update plumbing, heating, lighting, and electrical wiring. New cinema equipment was purchased to provide patrons with digital video and surround sound. On August 28, 2009, work was complete and the Northwood Theatre opened its doors to the public.
Movies are shown evenings Monday through Saturday, with a Sunday afternoon matinee. Cost is just $4.00 for adults, while students 18 and under are admitted for $3.00. Concessions at the single-screen theatre are also cheap: just $1.00 gets moviegoers a small popcorn, while a small pop runs $1.50. To see the current movie and showtimes, check out the Northwood Theatre website.
Follow-up Note: A marquee was added to the theatre in March 2010.